Verses on Sexual Purity
In our present day, sexual sin doesn't seem like a big deal to most people. The availability of pornography on our web devices has made sexual sin acceptable and commonplace, even for Christians. In many cases, the sexual practices of Christians do not substantially differ from the sexual practices of non-Christians. Collectively, we have lost our desire for sexual purity.
God, our Creator, has designed sex to be wonderful. It is the primary way we express oneness with our husband or wife. It is also the unique way by which new human beings are procreated. Within proper boundaries, sex glorifies God.
Closely examine the verses below using the inductive Bible study skills of observation, interpretation, and application. What is God teaching us about sex and its purposes? How do we glorify God in the area of sex?
Genesis 1:27-28 27 God created man in his own image. In the image of God he created him. Male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
Genesis 2:18-25 18 Yahweh God said, It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him. 19 Now out of the ground Yahweh God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that Yahweh God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Genesis 39:6-12 6 Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. 7 And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, Lie with me. 8 But he refused and said to his master’s wife, Look, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. 9 He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God? 10 And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her. 11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12 she caught him by his garment saying, Lie with me. But he left his garment in her hand, fled, and got out of the house.
Exodus 20:14 14 You shall not commit adultery.
Exodus 20:17 17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
Exodus 28:42-43 42 You shall make for [the priests] linen undergarments to cover their naked flesh. They shall reach from the hips to the thighs, 43 and they shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they go into the tent of meeting or when they come near the altar to minister in the Holy Place, lest they bear guilt and die. This shall be a statute forever for him and for his seed after him.
Leviticus 18:6 6 None of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness.
Leviticus 18:20 20 You shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her.
Leviticus 18:22-23 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. 23 And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it. It is perversion.
Leviticus 18:24-30 24 Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these [sexual sins], for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, 25 and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you 27 (for the people of the land who were before you did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean), 28 lest the land vomit you out when you make it unclean, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. 29 For everyone who does any of these abominations, the persons who do them shall be cut off from among their people. 30 So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs that were practiced before you and never to make yourselves unclean by them. I am Yahweh your God.
Leviticus 20:10 10 If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
Deuteronomy 22:22 22 If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.
Deuteronomy 23:17-18 17 None of the daughters of Israel will be a cult prostitute, nor will any of the sons of Israel be a cult prostitute. 18 You will not bring the hire of a harlot or the wages of a dog into the house of Yahweh your God for any votive offering, for both of these are an abomination to Yahweh your God.
Deuteronomy 27:20-23 20 Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen. 21 Cursed is he who lies with any animal. And all the people shall say, Amen. 22 Cursed is he who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen. 23 Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law. And all the people shall say, Amen.
Judges 16:4-5 4 [Samson] loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 5 And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, Seduce him and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.
Judges 16:16-17 16 When [Delilah] pressed [Samson] hard with her words day after day and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17 And he told her all his heart.
2 Samuel 5:13 13 David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron. And more sons and daughters were born to David.
2 Samuel 11:1-4 1 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful. 3 And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? 4 So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her.
1 Kings 11:1-4 1 King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which Yahweh had said to the sons of Israel, You will not associate with them, nor will they associate with you, for they will certainly turn your heart away after their gods. Solomon held fast to these in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. 4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods. So his heart was not wholly devoted to Yahweh his God, as the heart of David his father had been.
Job 24:15-17 15 The eye of the adulterer…waits for the twilight saying, No eye will see me, and he veils his face. 16 In the dark they dig through houses. By day they shut themselves up. They do not know the light. 17 For deep darkness is morning to all of them, for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.
Job 31:1-12 1 I have made a covenant with my eyes. How then could I gaze at a virgin? 2 What would be my portion from God above and my heritage from the Almighty on high? 3 Is not calamity for the unrighteous and disaster for the workers of iniquity? 4 Does not he see my ways and number all my steps? 5 If I have walked with falsehood and my foot has hastened to deceit 6 (let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!), 7 if my step has turned aside from the way and my heart has gone after my eyes, and if any spot has stuck to my hands, 8 then let me sow and another eat, and let what grows for me be rooted out. 9 If my heart has been enticed toward a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door, 10 then let my wife grind for another and let others bow down on her. 11 For that would be a heinous crime, that would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges. 12 For that would be a fire that consumes as far as Abaddon, and it would burn to the root all my increase.
Psalm 101:2-3 2 I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house. 3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away. It shall not cling to me.
Proverbs 5:3-21 3 The lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, 4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death. Her steps follow the path to Sheol. 6 She does not ponder the path of life. Her ways wander, and she does not know it. 7 And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. 8 Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, 9 lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless, 10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner, 11 and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed, 12 and you say, How I hated discipline and my heart despised reproof! 13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. 14 I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation. 15 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be for yourself alone and not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight. Be intoxicated always in her love. 20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? 21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of Yahweh, and he ponders all his paths.
Proverbs 6:23-33 23 The commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, 24 to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. 25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes. 26 For the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread, but a married woman hunts down a precious life. 27 Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? 28 Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? 29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife. None who touches her will go unpunished. …32 He who commits adultery lacks sense. He who does it destroys himself. 33 He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
Proverbs 7:4-27 4 Say to wisdom, You are my sister, and call insight your intimate friend, 5 to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words. 6 For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, 7 and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, 8 passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house 9 in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. 10 And look, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. 11 She is loud and wayward. Her feet do not stay at home. 12 Now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. 13 She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him: 14 I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows. 15 So now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. 16 I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen. 17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning. Let us delight ourselves with love. 19 For my husband is not at home. He has gone on a long journey. 20 He took a bag of money with him. At full moon he will come home. 21 With much seductive speech she persuades him. With her smooth talk she compels him. 22 All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast 23 till an arrow pierces its liver, as a bird rushes into a snare. He does not know that it will cost him his life. 24 And now, sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. 25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways. Do not stray into her paths. 26 For many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. 27 Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.
Proverbs 9:13-18 13 The woman Folly is loud. She is seductive and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the door of her house. She takes a seat on the highest places of the town, 15 calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, 16 Whoever is simple, let him turn in here! And to him who lacks sense she says, 17 Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. 18 But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
Proverbs 22:14 14 The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit. He with whom Yahweh is angry will fall into it.
Proverbs 23:27-28 27 A prostitute is a deep pit. An adulteress is a narrow well. 28 She lies in wait like a robber and increases the number of the faithless.
Proverbs 30:20 20 This is the way of an adulteress. She eats, wipes her mouth, and says, I have done no wrong.
Proverbs 31:3 3 Do not give your strength to women or your ways to that which destroys kings.
Proverbs 30:18-19 18 Three things are too wonderful for me. Four I do not understand: 19 the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.
Ecclesiastes 7:26 26 I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.
Song of Solomon 7 1 How beautiful are your feet in sandals, noble daughter! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand. 2 Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine. Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies. 3 Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. 4 Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon, which looks toward Damascus. 5 Your head crowns you like Carmel, and your flowing locks are like purple. A king is held captive in the tresses. 6 How beautiful and pleasant you are, loved one, with all your delights! 7 Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. 8 I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its fruit. Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, the scent of your breath like apples, 9 and your mouth like the best wine. It goes down smoothly for my beloved, gliding over lips and teeth. 10 I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me. 11 Come, my beloved, let us go out into the fields and lodge in the villages. 12 Let us go out early to the vineyards and see whether the vines have budded, whether the grape blossoms have opened and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. 13 The mandrakes give forth fragrance, and beside our doors are all choice fruits, new as well as old, that I have laid up for you, my beloved.
Jeremiah 5:7-9 7 When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of prostitutes. 8 They were well-fed lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor’s wife. 9 Shall I not punish them for these things? says Yahweh, and shall I not bring retribution on a nation such as this?
Jeremiah 7:9-10 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are safe!—only to go on doing all these abominations?
Jeremiah 13:27 27 I have seen your abominations, your adulteries and neighings, your shameless prostitutions on the hills of the countryside. Woe to you, Jerusalem!
Ezekiel 16:15-17 15 You trusted in your beauty, played the whore because of your fame, and lavished your whorings on any passer-by. 16 You took some of your garments, made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. Nothing like this has ever been or ever shall be. 17 You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and my silver that I had given you, made for yourself male images, and with them played the whore.
Hosea 4:10-14 10 They shall eat but not be satisfied. They shall play the whore but not multiply, because they have forsaken Yahweh to devote themselves to 11 whoredom. Wine and new wine take away the understanding. 12 My people consult a piece of wood, and their divining rod gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have played the whore, forsaking their God. 13 They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains and make offerings upon the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is good. Therefore your daughters play the whore, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery. 14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery. For the men themselves go aside with whores, and sacrifice with temple prostitutes. Thus a people without understanding (בין) comes to ruin.
Matthew 5:27-30 27 You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.
Matthew 19:4-6 4 Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning made them male and female 5 and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
Matthew 19:12 12 There are eunuchs who have been so from birth, there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.
Acts 15:28-29 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us [apostles] to lay upon you [non-Jewish believers] no greater burden than these essentials: 29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality (πορνεία). If you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well.
Romans 1:24-27 24 God gave [men] up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature. 27 And the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Romans 2:22 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?
Romans 12:1 1 I appeal to you…, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 13:9-10 9 The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet, and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
1 Corinthians 5:11 11 I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
1 Corinthians 6:9-20 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Messiah and by the Spirit of our God. 12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 …The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Messiah? Shall I then take the members of Messiah and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, The two will become one flesh. 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 7:1-9 1 It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman. 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer. But then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. 8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
2 Corinthians 12:21 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not changed their minds about the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.
Galatians 5:19-21 19 The works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Ephesians 4:19 19 [The Gentiles] have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality (ἀσέλγεια), greedy to practice every kind of impurity (ἀκαθαρσία).
Ephesians 5:3-12 3 Sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Messiah and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them. 8 For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good, right, and true) 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.
Ephesians 5:31-32 31 A man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Messiah and the church.
Colossians 3:5-6 5 Put to death…what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 3 This is the desire of God, your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality, 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the nations who do not know God, 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.
2 Timothy 2:22 22 Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
Hebrews 13:4 4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
1 Peter 4:3-5 3 The time that is past suffices for doing what the nations want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you. 5 But they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
2 Peter 2:6-10 6 If by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes [God] condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly, 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
Jude 7 7 Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which…indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Revelation 18:3 3 All the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of [Babylon’s] immorality, the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.
Revelation 18:9 9 The kings of the earth who committed immorality and lived sensuously with [Babylon] will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning.
Revelation 21:8 8 As for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
Revelation 22:15 15 Outside are the dogs, sorcerers, the sexually immoral, murderers, and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.